In case you didn't know, it's 100% legal for people of all genders to go topless in New York. But to fight old-school stigma and misogynist political animus, a brave band of activists gathers to march with their shirts off at the Go Topless Day Pride Parade. Every year, the holiday brings together painted, costumed or just bare-chested New Yorkers to defiantly show off what they've got and crush dated social norms. Here's everything you need to know about the big day.
Is it legal to go topless in NYC?
Yes! Since 1992, women have had the legal right to be topless in public in New York. In fact, most states have laws protecting public top nudity. Some states, like Washington, Florida and Virginia, have ambiguous laws on the matter, and only Utah, Tennessee and Indiana ban public toplessness entirely. Go Topless organizers warn that though it is legal in NYC, it is possible to be arrested falsely for "disorderly conduct." But with the parade in its 11th year, you're likely to be safe, and parade organizers know what's up.
When and where is the Go Topless Day Parade in New York?
The celebration is perfectly timed with Women’s Equality Day on Sunday, August 26, 2018 (the day women were first given the right to vote in 1920).
This year's Go Topless group assembles at 11:15am at W 58th Street between Eighth and Ninth Aves, marches down Broadway, takes a left on 48th Street and goes down Sixth Avenue to Bryant Park.
Will there be any street closures from the parade?
Though the demonstration is legal, police will block off the parade route and be on hand to ensure safety for all involved. From noon–1pm, these streets will be closed off for the march:
- West 58th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway
- Broadway between West 58th Street and West 48th Street (East Curb & Bike Lanes Only)
- 48th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue
- 6th Avenue between 48th Street and 40nd Street (East Curb Lane Only)
What do I wear to the parade?
Anything! Some participants like to paint patterns or text on their bare chests, or do it up with jewelry and studs. But you can feel free to show up bare and hang with the community.